Welcome to The Dripping Pan for today’s Bostik Premier League game with Bishop’s Stortford. Here is your complimentary e-programme.

Bostik League and Respect logos

IN TODAY’S ISSUE

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DARREN FROM THE DUGOUT

In today’s edition, Darren answers questions from the fans:

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RIP RAY SMITH

The club was this week saddened to hear of the passing of former Lewes FC player and manager, Ray Smith. Club President, Terry Parris, said of his former teammate: “Ray was exceptional in every way, as an educator, as a player, as a motivator. His profession was teaching and he knew how to get the best out of people, he was also incredibly humorous and sang regularly on the coach returning from away games, his favourite song was “swing low” the song famously sung at rugby internationals, a song associated with drinking and Ray wasn’t shy of a pint of Guinness. Ray managed Lewes for a number of years from 1972 to 1974-75 where in his last season we finished in the top 5, at the end of that season he handed over to Dave Standing for the following season. Ray then returned as manager and in 1979/1980 we gained promotion with Billericay from Berger Isthmian league Division 2 to Division 1, we also reached the Sussex Senior Cup Final that year. Ray finished at the end of season 1980/1981 where he handed over to Barney Jones as manager and stayed on supporting him. As a player he also played for other clubs including Brighton, Notts County, Horsham and Worthing. An incredible character and a real gentleman, so many good memories.” We will be holding a minute’s silence for Ray ahead of today’s game.

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TODAY’S MATCH SPONSOR

Today’s match sponsor is none other than the first lady of Lewes FC, Ethel Treagus. Ethel has been a supporter of Lewes FC for decades and her husband Gordon used to play for the club. David Arnold wrote a wondeful piece about Ethel and Gordon in the Sussex Express.

Ethel recently became a great grandmother, after her grandaughter and fellow Rooks fan, Kim, gave birth to baby Lottie.

Lottie has already seen her first game at the Pan, at barely a fortnight old!

We hope Ethel and her family have a great day and we thank her for her unstinting support.

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CHAIRMAN’S NOTES

Good afternoon and welcome back to the Dripping Pan for this afternoon’s vital game against Bishop’s Stortford.  I’d like to welcome the fans, players, management and officials from Bishop’s Stortford and hope their journey home is problem-free. Depending on their team selection, it could be player-manager Jamie Cureton’s 1,000th game which is an amazing achievement and everyone at Lewes Football Club congratulates him on this milestone.

It has been a real mixed bag for the club over the past two weeks. Our superb win over Merstham put us back into the play-off mix and in any other circumstances we would have been delighted to have taken a point from a very strong Leatherhead side last weekend. We now know we need three wins and hope others slip up to sneak into the play-offs. It will be a huge achievement if we do, but let’s not forget where we have come from in such a short space of time. We set a goal to finish in the top half of the table and we are still on course for that. I know that Darren and the whole squad are focused on finishing the season on a high, starting with today’s game.

Last Thursday our Under-18s retained the Sussex Youth Cup, beating Burgess Hill Town at Lancing FC thanks to a late strike from Harrison Parker. It wasn’t one of their best performances of the season but winning the cup was the focus for Dale Hurley and the squad and that is exactly what they did.

On Thursday night they went into the game against South Park knowing that a win may not be good enough to win the league, with Worthing level on points but with an inferior goal difference. We sent Ed Briggs down to Bognor Regis Town to keep us updated on the Worthing score but in the end it was academic as the boys won 3-1 and won the title – an amazing achievement and now they go into the play-off semi-finals for a chance to be crowned Champion of Champions on May 9th.

A few days ago we heard the sad news that former player and manager Ray Smith had passed away.  Ray was a vital part in the success of the club in the 1980s. We will hold a minute’s silence in memory of Ray before today’s kick-off and you can read Terry Parris’s tribute to Ray above.

Finally, just a reminder that our Ladies Foundation Squad head to Maidstone United FC tomorrow for the final of the SCEFL Chairman’s Cup where they will be hosting Oakwood Ladies.  Kick-off is an early 10.30am but I am sure Kelly Newton and the squad would really appreciate your support. Good luck to them and our Women’s First team who head north to take on Aston Villa in the Women’s Championship tomorrow.

Come on you Rooks!

Stuart

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Bostik League sponsors
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TODAY’S MATCH MUSIC

Today’s match playlist is compiled by our very own John Peel (not that one). Click on the player below to listen to the tracks on Spotify.

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DAZ AND THE PLASTIC POPULATION

Not a fan of plastic pitches? You can expect to see A LOT more of them next season, writes Stuart Fuller

3G pitches – you either love them or you hate them.  We’ve had mixed fortunes on them this season, recording impressive wins at Worthing, Dorking Wanderers and Margate but suffered defeats at Harlow Town, Haringey Borough and of course, Carshalton Athletic, which seems to be a given in recent years, artificial grass or not.

If we hoped that the promotion of Dorking Wanderers and the likely relegation of Harlow Town would mean we could enjoy more grass next season, if God forbid we don’t make the play-offs,  then think again.  We already know that Cray Wanderers and Bowers & Pitsea will be joining the Isthmian Premier League next season, both of whom enjoy the benefits of an artificial surface. 

Basildon-based Bowers & Pitsea laid their new 3G pitch last summer and have cantered to the Isthmian League North title without a single defeat at home so far, as too have Isthmian South East champions Cray Wanderers.  Whilst Isthmian South Central winners Hayes & Yeading play on grass, there’s a very good chance that they will end up in the Southern Premier League thanks to the four relegated teams from the National League all being southern based and thus a restructure of the leagues at step 2 and 3 are required.

It doesn’t end there as there a few more wannabees who are vying for promotion via the play-offs who also play on 3G. In the Isthmian North, the four teams competing for the play-offs are already known,  Aveley’s superb Parkside the only 3G. In the South-East Horsham will be moving to their new stadium in 2019 which will boast a 3G (in the meantime they use Lancing’s artificial surface), whilst Ashford United are also a shoe-in for the play-offs. In the South Central, Bracknell Town are hoping to clinch the runners-up spot and therefore host a Play-off semi-final on their 3G.

As if all of the teams coming up wasn’t enough, based on current form, there’s a very good chance that East Thurrock United will be joined by Eastbourne Borough coming down into the Isthmian Premier League. Not only will that renew a rivalry which last saw a competitive league game between the two clubs well over a decade ago, but it will be another 3G pitch.

Finally, there’s a real chance that one or two clubs may move sideways to accommodate re-organisations further up the pyramid and that could see Hendon and Walton Casuals come back into the Isthmian League structure, both of whom have 3G pitches.

So, adding up all of the above, it is possible that next season half of the teams in the Isthmian Premier could be playing on 3G surfaces.  Our record on 3G pitches is not bad – last season we won three out of six games, the same as this season whilst every one of our defeats has been by a single goal.  Our style of play suits a fast surface and as we use a very good 3G surface ourselves for training, we can adapt our game accordingly. 

Like them or loathe them, 3Gs are here to stay and will continue to grow in popularity at Steps 2 and below.  Even though they have hosted Internationals, European ties and are used in many major leagues throughout Europe, there’s still no place for them in the Football League, something that will need to change if the integrity of the football pyramid is to be maintained.

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BECOME AN OWNER

It costs as little as £30 to become an owner of Lewes FC. For that, you not only get the inner glow of helping your local community-owned football club, but you get great discounts from dozens of retailers in the Lewes area and nationwide. You can join instantly by clicking the button below.

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TODAY’S OPPONENTS: BISHOP’S STORTFORD

Founded in 1874, Bishop’s Stortford played in local district leagues before joining the expanded Spartan League in 1929. In 1933 they won the first of twelve Herts Senior Cup finals. They were founder members of the Delphian League in 1951, and champions in 1955.

When the Delphian League disbanded in 1963 they joined the Athenian League, winning promotion and becoming champions in 1970. Bishop’s Stortford moved up to the Isthmian League in 1971, but the seventies and eighties would be marked by their cup exploits.

In 1974 they won the last ever edition of the FA Amateur Cup, beating Ilford 4-1 in front of over 30,000 spectators. They returned to Wembley in 1981, lifting the FA Trophy in defeating Sutton United 1-0, thus becoming the first team to have won both the FA Amateur Cup and FA Trophy. Regularly reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup at this time, Bishop’s Stortford defeated Football League opposition for the first time in the 1982-83 season, winning 2-1 at Reading in the first round (and Slough Town 4-1 in the second) and holding Second Division Middlesbrough, then managed by Malcolm Allison, to a 2-2 draw at Ayresome Park before going out 1-2 in the replay with a crowd of 6,000 people packed into Bishop’s Stortford former Rhodes Avenue home ground.

In July 1999 the club’s new Woodside Park Stadium opened with a pre-season friendly against Norwich City, and the ground was officially opened a few weeks later by George Graham in front of a crowd of 2,444 against a strong Tottenham Hotspur side.

In 2004 Bishop’s Stortford took their place in the newly formed Conference South, and in 2007 reached the play-offs. The semi final home leg against Salisbury City attracted a crowd of 1049 and ended in a 1-1 draw, but they were defeated after extra time in the return leg. In 2013 a record home crowd of 2,548 saw the FA Cup first round tie (televised live on ITV) against Northampton Town.

In 2017 suffered relegation from the renamed National League South to the Southern League Premier Division, and in 2018 were transferred to the Isthmian League Premier Division, where they currently lie seventh, three points above us, and two points below the play-off places.

MEET THE SQUAD

Steve Smith Joint Interim Manager

Steve became acting joint 1st Team Manager on the resignation of Adam Flint last September. Has had previous experience in charge with Stortford a couple of seasons ago, and also had a spell in charge with Chelmsford City.

Jamie CuretonJoint Interim Manager/Forward

Jamie is a former Premiership striker who started his career at Norwich City. He made his senior debut against Everton in November 1994 and scored his first senior goal against Chelsea the following month. Jamie joined Stortford from Farnborough in January 2018.

Arthur JanataGoalkeeper

A third-year scholar at Leyton Orient Arthur arrived at Stortford on loan in the middle of January to make a memorable debut by making two saves in a Velocity Trophy quarter-final penalty shoot-out as the Blues beat Merstham.

Ben Sampayo – Defender

Ben joined Stortford for a second spell at the beginning of last November. He started his career with Chelsea and was a member of the Chelsea squad that won the FA Youth Cup in 2010. Amongst his former clubs he has also had spells with Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelmsford City, Greenock Morton, Brentwood Town.

Sam Robbins – Defender/Captain 

26 year-old Sam joined Stortford from Waltham Abbey last summer. Sam began his career at Wingate & Finchley before moving on to the Abbotts where he spent the last three seasons. 

Ryan Henshaw – Defender

Ryan was a long serving defender with AFC Sudbury who he first signed for as a 16 year-old in March 2010, before joining Stortford in November 2018. Ryan has also had short spells with Chelmsford City, Haverhill Rovers, Billericay Town, Braintree Town, Eastleigh and Welling United.

Shadrach Ogie– Defender

The 17 year-old arrived on loan from Leyton Orient in the middle of March and made his Blues debut in a 2-0 home win over Haringey Borough. A busy week followed for Shadrach as he flew out to Istanbul as part of the Republic of Ireland under18 squad and he played in two matches against their Turkish national counterparts. He remains in Orient’s plans and recently signed a contract with them until the summer of 2020. 

 Mark Haines Defender

Mark arrived for his second spell on loan from Chelmsford City just before Christmas with a gap of almost seven years from his first spell having been on a month’s loan from the Clarets in early 2012. He is the Essex side’s longest serving player with over 250 first team appearances. 

Johnville ReneeDefender/Midfielder

Johnville began his career at Leyton Orient before leaving for Stoke City at 15 years old. He spent four years at The Potters before joining AFC Wimbledon in League 2. Johnville made his Stortford debut in August 2018, and netted his first Blues goal in a 4-3 defeat at home to Tonbridge Angels in January.

Ryan CharlesMidfielder

23 year-old Ryan joined Stortford from Canvey Island last summer. He is described as a skilful wide-man capable of scoring spectacular goals from distance. He netted his first Blues goal in their 3-1 home victory over Carshalton Athletic in September.

Jack ThomasMidfielder

Jack spent two seasons with the Blues Academy set-up and gained valuable experience of senior football with Sawbridgeworth Town in the Essex Senior League in the 2016/17 season. He made his Blues first team debut in September 2017 and has been a major influence in their midfield since then.

Alex WarmanMidfielder

Alex was with the Blues’ Academy set-up for two seasons a couple of years ago. He is dual registered with Essex Senior Leaguers, Takeley, and made his league debut back with Stortford on Boxing Day against Harlow Town.

Ben Worman Midfielder

17 year-old Ben has been with Cambridge United since he was seven and developed through the club’s Academy age groups across the last decade. He signed on loan for the Blues from Cambridge in the middle of January and netted in each of his first four Stortford league matches.

George Craddock – Midfielder

24 year-old George  began his career with Northampton Town until he was released in the summer of 2013. He signed for the Blues in February having played for Wingate & Finchley and Heybridge Swifts earlier in the current campaign. He has also played for Margate, Braintree Town and Canvey Island.

Olly MilesMidfielder/Forward

17 year-old Olly is in his first year in Stortford’s Academy scheme. Olly is the son of a former Stortford striker, and netted his first senior goal for the Blues in late November  in a 2-1 win over Baldock Town in the Herts Senior Cup.

Luke Callander – Forward

Luke’s career started  with Ipswich Town where he spent seven years. An experienced striker, Luke joined Stortford for a second spell in early November.

Alfie Mason – Forward

Alfie made his Blues senior debut in November 2017, and has now made over 50 senior appearances for Stortford with 7 goals to his credit.

Jamie Cureton – Forward

Only one Jamie Cureton (see above under Interim Manager). In a long and varied carer Jamie went on to play for Bristol Rovers, Reading, Queens Park Rangers, Swindon, Colchester United, Exeter City, Leyton Orient and Cheltenham Town, and in non-league Dagenham & Redbridge, Eastleigh and St Albans City as well as Farnborough. Jamie is also employed as an Academy coach with the under 15s and 16s at Arsenal. He has notched over 350 goals over the course of his career.

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It costs only £50 to sponsor a player or manager for home or away Kit. £25 for training kit and boots. All funds raised go to Lewes FC Supporters Club, helping to fund Lewes FC throughout the season.

Contact: david.arnold@me.com or see David or Barbara on match days.

DARREN FREEMAN
HOME: REG FREEMAN
AWAY: DAVE LAMB

ROSS STANDEN
HOME: DAVID & BARBARA ARNOLD
AWAY: CATHY FELTHAM

STEVE BRINKHURST
HOME: RON PIDGEON
AWAY:
TRAINING KIT & BOOTHS: ETHEL TREAGUS

FRANKIE CHAPPELL
HOME: ED BRIGGS
AWAY: ED BRIGGS
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS:  ED BRIGGS

DAYSHONNE GOLDING
HOME KIT: HAIR FOR MEN, 16 MARKET ST, LEWES

NICO COTTON
HOME: JAMES BRIGGS
AWAY: JAMES BRIGGS
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: JAMES BRIGGS

JAMES HAMMOND
HOME: ROOK, CANNON AND HORSE ASSOCIATES LTD
AWAY: LUCAS WARNER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: LUCAS WARNER

LUKE BLEWDEN
HOME: SUSIE ARLETT
AWAY:
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: SUSIE ARLETT

LLOYD COTTON:
HOME: STUART FULLER
AWAY: STUART FULLER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: STUART FULLER

BILLY MEDLOCK
HOME: DAVE LAMB
AWAY: DAVE LAMB

STACEY FREEMAN
HOME: ROGER WARNER
AWAY: ROGER WARNER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: ROGER WARNER

HARRY REED
HOME: ANDY ROSSITTER
AWAY: SAM & JOE BARKER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS:

LEWIS CAREY
HOME: DAVID & BARBARA ARNOLD
AWAY:
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS:

RONNIE CONLON
HOME: NEIL FINNEY
AWAY: LUCAS WARNER
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: SUSIE ARLETT

JONTE SMITH
HOME: BARRY HAFFENDEN
AWAY: JASON FOULKES
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: LUCAS WARNER

OMARR LAWSON
HOME: TONY HARMAN
AWAY: YEOVIL JOHN
TRAINING KIT & BOOTS: LUCAS WARNER

MICHAEL DOME-BEMWIN
HOME: DAVE EVANS

LEON REDWOOD
HOME: WILL & COLIN KEMP

CLUB SHOP MANAGER, BARRY HAFFENDEN
PROUDLY SPONSORED BY HAIR FOR MEN, 16 MARKET ST, LEWES

If you wish to sponsor a player, contact David Arnold at the Supporters Club.

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ROOKS UNITED

In the next in his series of articles about teams wearing Red and Black, Stuart Fuller heads to the home of waffles, chocolate and a famous boy detective to discover the story behind Les Coalisés.

Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then I will begin. This week’s story comes from Brussels where the most famous wearers of Red and Black have had a turbulent history. Whilst the club in question are simply referred to as FC Brussels by many, their full name is Racing White Daring Club Molenbeek Brussels or in Alan Partridge style RWDCMB FC.

Their origins? Blimey. A fusion of clubs from various parts of Brussels over the course of nearly 100 years, with the last incarnation in 2003 after the incorporation of FC Molenbeek. Not surprising then that their nickname, Les Coalisés literally translates to The United.

Whilst their origins are confusing, their league position is simple. They currently play in the third tier of Belgium football at the Stade Edmon Machtens in the Molenbeek area of Brussels which was once a regular haunt of the Belgium national team. The ground today has a rural feel with stands on three sides and the fourth lined with trees that cast long shadows across the pitch.

Belgium knows a thing or two about beer so a match day here sees plenty of opportunities to participate in all of the finest things about life in the lowlands of Europe. Duval, Maes even a Delirium if you are lucky – puts our Schoodlepip in the shade I can tell you. Bacon cheeseburger? Not when you can have BittenBallen, a chocolate cream waffle or some twice cooked chips smothered in mayonnaise. Watching a game here is like a little slice of continental heaven and is exactly what being in the European Union (whoops!) is all about.

Whilst the fans hardly flock to Molenbeek on a match day, with average attendances hovering around the same as we get at The Dripping Pan, those who do attend come for the whole package and not just 90 minutes of football. Every week you will spot an English face or two in the crowd too – taking advantage of a cheap hop under the Channel on the Eurostar and the change of scenery.

Who knows what the future holds for RWDCMB – more than probably another merger with a local club to move them closer to the ultimate ambition of having the longest name in world football. But for now we can raise a pint to our Belgian cousins, knowing that there are other fellow Red and Blacks where it is not all about 90 minutes of football.

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GR Teamwear
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STODGEBUSTERS ON TOUR

Our gallant brigade of bacon-sandwich hunters arrive at Leatherhead

“Caffe DeNiro’s waiting”.

So it was the penultimate away trip of the season for the Stodgebusters. We hadn’t been to Leatherhead for a while. The cafe we popped into last time had undergone some changes including a name change to Caffe DeNiro. But it still looked like our kind of place during the research.

The original plan to take the train was quickly thrown out when Turnstile Alan offered to be Taxi Driver and give us all a lift from Roly’s mansion in Polegate. Unfortunately the Rookmobile was on other duties so PJ picked up Gary the Badge and Malcolm at Lewes Tesco in his little two-door Fiesta. Actually it didn’t take much more than a couple of minutes for them to get in and we were soon Polegate bound.

Alan was bang on time too. We transferred into his Toyota and it was time to hunt the seatbelt. We had three seatbelts in the back and only two clips to put them in. Something was wrong. After much arguing, wriggling and feeling for the missing clip it was all back out again to see what was going on. It was all a bit like that Laurel and Hardy film The Perfect Day. With the missing clip retrieved from under the seats we all got back in again and buckled up. Even with the lithe figures of Roly and PJ in the back it was still quite a snug fit with Gary the Badge.

The confectionery on offer this week was a poor show. PJ was the only one to remember any sweets and that was only a packet of Aldi own brand Butter Mintoes. The cheapskate. However, they were very good and met with universal approval. So much so that they were nearly all gone by the time we got to Leatherhead.

It was an easy run without any traffic dramas. We pulled into the car park at 1.30. Alan retrieved his legendary yellow jacket from the boot and we set off along the bank of the River Mole towards the town centre of Leatherhead.  It’s not to be confused with Leatherface which is something completely different.

Us five Goodfellas soon found the Caffe DeNiro but it certainly wasn’t Robert working the griddle.The menu was almost Limitless. But we had three full English, an omelette and a jacket potato and it was all of a very good standard. A number of the Lewes hardcore prefer pubs to cafes, and we spotted The Beer Hunters passing by as we enjoyed our lunch.

This would be a tough game. Not a Grudge Match in the slightest, but both teams needed the points to help their challenge for a play-off place. With Lewes just below the home team we needed them more. Like a lot of teams in this league the opposition were big. Their height advantage all over the pitch would be a problem. We were concerned and didn’t have Great Expectations.

3pm and it was Showtime. We started off very well indeed. After about ten minutes a cross from Charles Banya found its way via Ben Pope through to Hammo on the six yard line who coolly slotted home. What a Godsend! This upset the home team. One of their players went straight into the book for clattering Ben Pope like a Raging Bull. The lead didn’t last long though. After about 15 minutes a corner was swung in, and despite a great effort by Lewis Carey to claw it away someone prodded the ball home. The rest of the half saw Lewes trying to play football on the deck like Brazil, with the home team bombarding the Lewes penalty area with aerial stuff.  Carey had been Flawless and made two great saves, but Lewes had a couple of chances too.

The second half saw much of the same bombardment with Frankie and Stacey being The Untouchables by winning header after header. Pamment forced a good save from his free kick. Leatherhead probably had the best chance when a slip allowed one of their players to have the ball twelve yards out, but his shot was scuffed horribly wide. A one-all draw keeps both sides interested in the play-offs although it suited Leatherhead more. Their manager wasn’t happy and thought his side deserved all three points. One could Analyse This and Analyse That, but we thought it was a fair result overall.

Next up for the Stodgebusters:  The final awayday for another season. Burgess Hill and hopefully some revenge for that New Years Day result. 

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TODAY’S TEAMS

Today’s teams will appear here when they are announced…

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REMAINING FIXTURES

OPPONENTSH/ADATE
Burgess Hill TownAMon 22 Apr, 3pm
AFC HornchurchHSat 27th Apr, 3pm

Click here for full season stats


CREDITS AND LEGAL

The Bostik League strongly support recent FA statements that there should be a zero tolerance approach against racism and all forms of discrimination. Accordingly, any form of discriminatory abuse, whether it be based on race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, faith, age, ability or any other form of abuse will be reported to The Football Association for action by that Association. (The FA 0800 085 0508/Kick It Out 020 7253 0162)

Lewes 2000 FC Limited. Registered in England and Wales with Company Registration Number 03790979. Lewes 2000 FC Limited is 100% owned by Lewes Community Football Club.

Honorary President Terry Parris
Chairman Stuart Fuller
Directors
Charlie Dobres, Eddie Ramsden, Stuart Fuller, John Peel, Barry Collins, Ed Briggs, Jon Ruben, Roger Warner, Galia Orme
Club Secretary Barry Collins
Youth Secretary Kevin Brook
Operations Manager Duncan Thompson

Equality FC Campaign Manager Karen Dobres

Life Members
Mr and Mrs Brook, Vic Blunt, Pat Dartnell, Gary Elphick, Gordon Fowlie, Peter Hiscox, Billy Nixon, Derrick Parris, Terry Parris, Jimmy Quinn, P. Swaysland, Steve Ibbitson, Jason Hopkinson, Steve White, Martin Elliot, Kevin Fingerneissl, Kevin Powell, David and Barbara Arnold, Roger and Cathy Feltham, Ethel Treagus, Roy Dartnell RIP, Ron Moore, Derek Southouse, Ray Smith, Ken Carter

Manager Darren Freeman
Assistant Manager Ross Standen
First Team Coach Tony Coade
Physiotherapists Paul Baskin & Xavier Smith

Development Squad Manager Steve Eke
Development Squad coach Luke Carter
Development Squad/Under-18s sports therapist Chris Dumbrell
Under-18s Manager Dale Hurley
Under-18s Assistant Manager Craig Stevens
Under-18s coaches Jake Legrange and Johnny Buggy

Golden Rook Rob Read
Web Editor Stuart Fuller
Progcast Editors Paul Sheppard and Duncan Thompson
Progcast Designer Barry Collins
Club Photographer James Boyes